RENTON – “Don’t ask, don’t tell” would be a fitting motto for Russell Wilson’s ongoing contract negotiations with the Seattle Seahawks. The franchise quarterback simply wouldn’t budge Thursday when asked about a potential new deal after their only minicamp practice wrapped up at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center.
Wilson is set to enter the final year of his rookie contract, which is worth $1.5 million in 2015.
“As you guys know, I’m not going to go into great detail about that at all,” Wilson said. “It’s a private matter.”
Earlier this week, ESPN reported that Wilson took out an insurance policy “worth millions” in the event he sustains a career-ending injury in 2015. Wilson, 26, is set to enter his fourth NFL season. He indicated earlier this year that he is willing to play this season without a new deal.
“In terms of the insurance policy, that’s just being smart if I do have to play this season (without a new deal),” Wilson said. “That’s all that is, really. I think that’s the right thing to do.”
Coach Pete Carroll was asked if he expects a deal to be done before training camp. Carroll said he maintains a constant dialogue with Wilson but hasn’t broached the subject of his contract negotiations.
“They’re still working at it, and I’m hopeful,” he said. “We’re hopeful. That’s why we’re working.”
Thursday marked the Seahawks’ lone mini-camp practice after they were penalized by the NFL and fined more than $300,000 for excessive contact during last year’s practices.
Typically, teams are allotted a maximum of three practices. As the Seahawks enter their individual off-season workouts, reports citing anonymous sources will likely continue to swirl as they try to extend the quarterback that led them to a Super Bowl XLVIII win before last season’s last-minute, 28-24 loss to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX.
“One thing I do know is it’s business,” Wilson said. “Business is one of those things that’s an interesting thing. I think for me I just look at it that way. I’ve always understood that I’d be at this point some time. I always kind of worked in my mind that I’d have this opportunity and it will work out however it’s supposed to work out. We’ll find out with what happens.”
Contract questions were a theme Thursday. Linebacker Bruce Irvin addressed an off-season report that he wants to return to his hometown and play for the Atlanta Falcons in 2016. In May, the Seahawks declined to pick up Irvin’s fifth-year option on his rookie contract.
“I want to be in Seattle,” Irvin said. “Obviously my words got misinterpreted. You know, 2012 I had a lot of questions coming out before the draft,” “(Carroll) and (general manager) John (Schneider), they stuck their neck out for me, took me in the first round, so why wouldn’t I want to be here?”
“I’m from Atlanta. My whole family’s still in Atlanta. That’s every kid’s dream to play for their home team, but right now I’m in Seattle and I love being in Seattle. Hopefully that’s for the rest of my career.”
Irvin posted 37 tackles, 6.5 sacks and returned two interceptions for touchdowns in 2014. He admitted Thursday he was surprised when the Seahawks, who selected him with their first round pick in 2012, opted to not pick up the option. He said it also gave him additional motivation but acknowledged the difficulty of trying to re-sign Wilson and Pro Bowl linebacker Bobby Wagner.